Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Fragmentation disrupts microbial effects on native plant community productivity

Kasey N Kiesewetter, Leydiana Otano, Michelle E Afkhami

Published: 2023-03-19
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Life Sciences, Life Sciences

1. Anthropogenic habitat fragmentation – the breaking up of natural landscapes – is a pervasive threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function worldwide. Fragmentation results in a mosaic of remnant native habitat patches embedded in human-modified habitat known as the “matrix”. By introducing novel environmental conditions in matrix habitats and reducing connectivity of native habitats, [...]

Partitioning variance in population growth for models with environmental and demographic stochasticity

Jonas Knape, Matthieu Paquet, Debora Arlt, et al.

Published: 2023-03-19
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

1. How demographic factors lead to variation or change in growth rates can be investigated using life table response experiments (LTRE) based on structured population models. Traditionally, LTREs focused on decomposing the asymptotic growth rate, but more recently decompositions of annual ‘realized’ growth rates have gained in popularity. 2. Realized LTREs have been used particularly to [...]

Forecasting rodent population dynamics and community transitions with dynamic nonlinear models

Nicholas Joshua Clark, SKM Ernest, Henry Senyondo, et al.

Published: 2023-03-13
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Multivariate Analysis, Population Biology, Statistical Methodology, Statistical Models, Statistics and Probability

Ecological communities are dynamic. These dynamics are influenced by many sources of variation, making it difficult to understand or predict future change. Biotic interactions, and other sources of multi-species dependence, are major contributors. But ecological prediction overwhelmingly focuses on models that treat individual species in isolation. Here, we model the relative importance of [...]

Telomere length vary with sex, hatching rank and year of birth in little owls, Athene noctua

François Criscuolo, Inès Fache, Bertrand Scaar, et al.

Published: 2023-03-07
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Telomeres are non-coding DNA sequences located at the end of linear chromosomes, protecting genome integrity. In numerous taxa, telomeres shorten with age and telomere length (TL) is positively correlated with longevity. Moreover, TL is also affected by environmental stressors and/or resource-demanding situations particularly during early-life. Thus, TL has been used as a physiological marker of [...]

A diversity of fungal pathways contribute to improved soil carbon stability and storage

Emiko Stuart, Laura Castañeda-Gómez, Wolfram Buss, et al.

Published: 2023-03-03
Subjects: Agricultural Science, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Life Sciences, Life Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

While various fungi could facilitate soil C storage and climate change mitigation via carbon (C) cycling, standard soil C tests that measure only bulk soil C cannot disentangle mechanisms underpinning fungal influences and so far research has largely focused on mycorrhizal fungi. Here, we assessed the soil C storage potential of 12 non-mycorrhizal fungi, selected from a wide pool based on traits [...]

Lipid Metabolism in Response to Cold

Thomas Enriquez, Nicholas M. Teets

Published: 2023-03-01
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology

Temperature directly shapes insect physiology and has a preponderant effect on life history traits. Winter conditions in temperate and polar regions are especially challenging for insects. Extremely low temperatures can indeed compromise insect survival by promoting freezing of body fluids, but mild cold temperatures above 0 °C (i.e. chilling) can also lead to complex and severe physiological [...]

How do microbes grow in nature? The role of population dynamics in microbial ecology and evolution

Justus Wilhelm Fink, Michael Manhart

Published: 2023-02-26
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Life Sciences, Evolution, Life Sciences, Microbiology, Systems Biology

The growth of microbial populations in nature is dynamic, as the cellular physiology and environment of these populations change. Population dynamics have wide-ranging consequences for ecology and evolution, determining how species interact and which mutations fix. Understanding these dynamics is also critical for clinical and environmental applications in which we need to promote or inhibit [...]

Solar radiation drives potential demographic collapse in a perennial bunchgrass via dramatically reduced seedling establishment

Timothy H Parker, Alex Gerber, Erin Campbell, et al.

Published: 2023-02-20
Subjects: Biology, Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Other Plant Sciences, Plant Sciences, Population Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Many perennial plants in semi-arid rangelands have experienced population declines, and understanding the ecological and demographic processes behind these declines is important to slowing or reversing them. Although anthropogenic disturbances drive many declines, other sorts of environmental variability, such as the differences in solar radiation with aspect, may impact population success [...]

Extra-pair paternity, breeding density and synchrony in natural cavities versus nestboxes in two passerine birds

Irene Di Lecce, Charles Perrier, Marta Szulkin, et al.

Published: 2023-02-18
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Ornithology

Most of what is known about extra-pair paternity in hole-nesting birds derives from studies using artificial nesting sites, such as nestboxes. However, it has rarely been investigated whether inference drawn from breeding events taking place in nestboxes matches what would be observed under natural conditions, i.e. in natural cavities. We here report on a variation in promiscuity in blue tits and [...]

Keep your cool: Overwintering physiology in response to urbanization in the acorn ant, Temnothorax curvispinosus

Eric Grant Prileson, Jordan Clark, Sarah E Diamond, et al.

Published: 2023-02-10
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Winter presents a challenge for survival, yet temperate ectotherms have remarkable physiological adaptations to cope with low-temperature conditions. Under recent climate change, rather than strictly relaxing pressure on overwintering survival, warmer winters can instead disrupt these low-temperature trait-environment associations, with negative consequences for populations. While there is [...]

Statistical methods to identify mechanisms in studies of eco-evolutionary dynamics

Jelena Holly Pantel, Lutz Becks

Published: 2023-02-08
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

While the reciprocal effects of ecological and evolutionary dynamics are increasingly recognized as an important driver for biodiversity, detection of such eco-evolutionary feedbacks, their underlying mechanisms, and their consequences remains challenging. Eco-evolutionary dynamics occur at different spatial and temporal scales and can leave signatures at different levels of organization (e.g., [...]

What acoustic telemetry can and can’t tell us about fish biology

David M.P. Jacoby, Adam T Piper

Published: 2023-02-07
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Aquaculture and Fisheries Life Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Zoology

Acoustic telemetry (AT) has become ubiquitous in aquatic monitoring and fish biology, conservation and management. Since the early use of active ultrasonic tracking that required researchers to follow at a distance their species of interest, the field has diversified considerably with exciting advances in both hydrophone and transmitter technology. Once a highly specialised methodology however, [...]

The impact of helping on helper life-history and fitness in a cooperatively breeding bird

Ellie Chesterton, Alexandra M Sparks, Terry Burke, et al.

Published: 2023-02-03
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Cooperative breeding occurs when helpers provide alloparental care to the offspring of a breeding pair. One hypothesis of why helping occurs is that helpers gain valuable experience (skills) that may increase their own future reproductive success. However, research typically focuses on the effect of helping on short-term measures of reproductive success. Fewer studies have considered how helping [...]

Using repeatability of performance within and across contexts to validate measures of behavioral flexibility

Kelsey McCune

Published: 2023-01-31
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Research into animal cognitive abilities is increasing quickly and often uses methods where behavioral performance on a task is assumed to represent variation in the underlying cognitive trait. However, because these methods rely on behavioral responses as a proxy for cognitive ability, it is important to validate that the task structure does, in fact, target the cognitive trait of interest [...]

The impact of rising temperatures on the prevalence of coral diseases and its predictability: a global meta-analysis

Samantha Burke, Patrice Pottier, Malgorzata Lagisz, et al.

Published: 2023-01-24
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Immunology and Infectious Disease, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Statistical Models

Coral reefs are under threat from disease as climate change alters environmental conditions. Rising temperatures exacerbate coral disease, but this relationship is likely complex as other factors also influence coral disease prevalence. To better understand this relationship, we meta-analytically examined 108 studies for changes in global coral disease over time alongside temperature, expressed [...]

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